The awkward unsteady
became cozy and weak
Wind . . . oh, I thought
of the vivid red
violin wild serenade
A few years before my mother died of Parkinson's, she worked with an art therapist. Holly facilitated Mother's artwork and took notes of the things she said. I went through a folder this morning, thinking I would toss them, but I couldn't. Instead I found a poem. It needed only my arrangement, and the brushing away of a few extra words.
Listening to someone whom people have stopped listening to is an incredible thing to do. It was a struggle for me to listen to my mother in her last years, as I always wanted to bolt from that decrepit nursing home, fast as I could.
Some years after my mother died, though, I started working with a group of seniors, taking down notes of their life stories and appreciating their memories. It was one of the most formative, powerful, and exhausting things I have ever done.
The awkward, unsteady thing became cozy and weak. I learned to let difficult feelings fly like leaves in the wind. The compassion and caring, the blood-red love of words, and the appreciation for beauty are what remain.